questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

need help: osaka-tokyo using jr pass

Need Help: Osaka-Tokyo using JR Pass

Hi Daniel

I just need some help with my itinerary. I'll be traveling to Japan this Dec 8-15 via Narita. My friends and I will stay in Tokyo for 4 days and they will fly back to Phils on the 12th leaving me alone while I embark and explore Osaka and probably Kyoto until the 15th. Our itinerary in Tokyo includes trips to Disneyland, Hakone and Gotenba.

I initially planned on just spending my 3 days to visit the Universal Studios as well as other tourists spots in Osaka, but due to a friend's suggestion he wanted me to explore Kyoto as well. I am planning on purchasing a JR pass and my dilemma is this: My flight back home is on Dec 15 12:20pm via Tokyo and I intend to stay in Osaka up until that day to maximize my stay.

I've done a little research and the earliest available trip from Osaka to Tokyo via shinkansen is 8am. It wil be impossible for me to catch my flight by then. That leaves me to my only option: Trying my luck in using Japan's night train that is available to use for JR pass holders. It will leave Osaka at 12am and will arrive in Tokyo at 8 am just in time for my flight. Do u think it's a good idea? Have you tried it before? I've read somewhere that it doesn't provide reservations so it will be a bit risky to try it. Can u suggest any other means?

Also, is the JR Pass worth it in my itinerary? Can I somehow use it while I explore Kyoto, Osaka, and USJ?

Thank you very much. Looking forward in hearing from you soon. 😀



Hi Belle,

Adding Kyoto to your itinerary is something I can only applaud. Kyoto should not be missed on any visit to Japan :)

Going to the JR Pass, it would make sense using one if you can at least cover the return Tokyo - Kansai (Kyoto/Osaka). The JR Pass covers the night train from Osaka to Tokyo, however reservations are hard to make as the train is often fully booked, days, if not weeks in advance. Therefor I think your best option would be to take a train to Tokyo/Narita in the evening. While delays are rare in Japan, they can still happen. Going back to Tokyo/Narita ensures that you won't miss your train.

The JR Pass can also be used for local travel on JR lines in Osaka and to a limited extend in Kyoto, travel to USJ is also included.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel, thank u for your reply. My other option would be to go back to Tokyo on the 14th. But if ever, I can book a night train trip to Tokyo on the eve of Dec 15th, is it safe for a girl? I will probably purchase a JR pass. It covers trips to Mt Fuji and Gotenba right? than you so much for your help.



Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $262.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.